Astrology is said to be the discipline that teaches us how to create horoscopes and use the positions of celestial bodies, to understand and interpret Human existence on Earth, at least that what it says on a leading astrology website. I often encounter articles and comments questioning whether astrology is a science or trying to prove or disprove astrology in scientific terms. Personally, I don’t see how an analogy between astrology and modern day science can be drawn. Science and astrology are two very different disciplines, based on very different principles. Science follows the principles of experimentation, observation and inference, scientific principles must have theoretical or mathematical proof that must always be consistent. Although astrology has it’s own set of well defined principles, they very different to those of science.In spite of what many astrologers may claim, astrology is not without limitations and before we can go about proclaiming astrology a science or otherwise, we have to understand what these are. Astrology (Vedic) is believed to be the product of divine inspiration and was imparted to the Hindu sage, ‘Bhrigu’ by the Goddess of wealth, ‘Mahalakshmi’. This knowledge was recorded in ancient sacred texts, of which only remnants still remain. Astrology is not a perfect discipline and is only as good as the astrologer who practices it. His or her proficiency determines how accurate the results turn out to be and depends largely on his or her depth of knowledge, type of experience (nature of the predictions made) and length of experience. It would be still however, be logical to assume that even an astrologer, who is by all accounts well accomplished, could not claim to have complete knowledge of astrology, as his or her knowledge cannot exceed that which is contained in the texts that still exist, as these are incomplete themselves.As explained on a leading astrology website, science and astrology are base on diametrically opposite points of view, in that science is still grappling with compelling questions about the Universe, about the creation of the Universe, the possibility of parallel Universes, that infinitesimally small fraction of a second after the Big Bang and the beginning of time.So what was there before the beginning of time? If the Universe has continued to expand ever since it’s creation, what is it expanding into? Our knowledge is so limited that these questions themselves sound absurd. Vedic astrology on the other hand, comes from a belief system that is based on the principle that an explanation for everything that exists can be found in the Hindu scriptures, or with their help. Many Vedic scholars believe that what scientists are discovering today was known to the sages all along. For instance, the twin Vedic planets, ‘Rahu’ and ‘Ketu’ are unique to Vedic astrology. They are said to be represent a mythical serpent, of which ‘Rahu’ is the head and ‘Ketu’ the tail. These two planets are considered to be malefic and devour other forms of energy like endless pits and eclipse or debilitate the Sun and the Moon. The colour of ‘Rahu’ is black and that of ‘Ketu’ is grey. The similarity between ‘Rahu’ and ‘Ketu’ and black holes is quite striking, the opposite end of a black hole is thought to be a white dwarf. Another case in point and also featured on the previously mentioned leading astrology website, is the relevance of the number, ‘108’, which is the number of beads in a Hindu prayer bead rosary. Although these prayer beads are a product of the ancient Vedic period, through modern science, we now know that the figure ‘108’ is of particular relevance, as the distance between the Earth and the Sun is approximately 108 times the Sun’s diameter. The Sun’s diameter is about 108 times that of the Earth’s and the distance between the Earth and the Moon is approximately 108 times the Moon’s diameter. Is it possible that the ancient Hindu sages were able to determine these celestial measurements, with such accuracy, long before telescopes existed?Admittedly, none of the above proves anything scientifically, but it does question whether science is really advanced enough to explain astrology. In my opinion, in order to explain or debunk astrology, a scientist would have to first understand and be well versed with the principles of astrology and should be able to practice astrology. I feel that he or she would then understand that astrological predictions are not binary in nature, everything is not black and white, as it in science and there are authentic shades of grey.In addition to being used to make predictions about the future, Vedic astrology also allows for remedial measures, through the use of gemstones, talismans, prayer ceremonies, chanting of Mantras etc.According to the ancient Vedic scriptures, a parallel universe, complete with planets, stars, constellations etc exists in the human body. Obviously, this Universe does not exist in the same physical form we know through astronomy. However, it’s existence this can be experienced by the awakening of the ‘Kundalini’, or ‘Sleeping Serpent’, a brilliant thread running through the spinal cord, the awakening of which is the highest step in ‘Tantrik’ practices. Vedic astrology recognizes nine planets, twelve zodiacs and 28 constellations. Pandit Sarvesh Nagarvedic, the chief astrologer on the previously mentioned leading astrology website explains that the nine Vedic planets have been accorded the status of demigods, however these heavenly bodies are not all powerful and rely on offerings made on Earth for strength. When we on Earth pray to or appease the power representing a planet, by acquiring it’s gemstone or Yantra, we are actually tapping into the power of the planet, present in our own parallel universe. In this way, the planets are easily gratified and respond by bestowing their blessings on their worshippers.So what does this all this mean? Do the same powers that control our lives by virtue of astrology, exist in the heavens or inside us? “As is above, so is within”, would seem to be the answer. Astrological influences are not far removed objects that work in isolation, they are a part of the Universe that we are also a part of and we have the means to strengthen or appease them, as we desire. This is not to suggest that we can completely alter fate, to do that would mean we have the ability to change the position of the planets in our horoscopes, which is of course, impossible. What we have to remember is that astrology notwithstanding, everybody goes through good times and bad times. The basic principle of astrology is that deeds and actions (karam) are above all. Just like God, astrology helps those, who help themselves, but using our knowledge of astrology, we can change the influences of astrological forces, so we can make more of good times and reduce the negative effects of bad times.
American Heritage Dictionary defines Astrology as the study of the positions and aspects of celestial bodies in the belief that they have an influence on the course of natural earthly occurrences and human affairs. Planetary observation is the basis of Astrology. The practice of astrology was prevalent in the ancient times as well.History of Astrology is an important part of civilization and goes back to the early days of the human race. Some of the well-known civilizations of the world used this field extensively. For example, the ancient Chinese civilization, the Egyptian civilization, the ancient Indian civilization, etc all practiced astrology at some point or the other. Arabs too practiced Astrology before the advent of Islam. Arabs were quite advanced in the field of Astronomy.The ancient Babylonians were probably the first to use Astrology. The Babylonians were the first to name the days of the week after the Sun, Moon, and planets. They were also the first to set out the twelve houses of the horoscope. Baghdad and Damascus were known as centers of Astrology and Astronomy in olden times. Egypt contributed a lot towards the development of Astrology. It is thought that some of the astrological signs of the zodiac originated in Egypt.Greek astronomer Ptolemy was the first ever person to write a book on Astrology. He codified the sun sign astrology that we know today. Ptolemy tried to predict the positions of celestial bodies relative to each other and the earth through knowledge of their orbital motions. During his time, astrology was a part of astronomy. Later, astronomy became an exact science and Astrology remained a part of Theology.Chinese astrology stresses on the five elements, metal, wood, water, fire, and earth. Even the zodiac signs used by them are also different from other forms of astrology.India has a rich history of Astrology. Astrology was practiced even in the Vedic times in India. Astrology is one of the six disciplines of Vedanga. Ancient Hindu Scriptures too give a lot of importance to the various aspects of planetary motions and its effects on humans. Astrology is still studied and practiced by many in India.It is regarded as vital in Indian culture. It is used to make decisions about marriage, starting of new businesses, and moving into a new house etc. The Hindus believe that human fortune or misfortune in life is due to karma, and karma is believed to be influenced by the movements of the planets. Among the Hindus, Brahmins are considered to be the best authorities on astrology.The astrologers in India claim that it is a scientific method to predict the future. They still club this field of study within the parameters of Hinduism. Hindus almost unanimously believe in astrological predictions. In fact, religious Hindus cannot imagine life without Astrology. More and more Indians have started to build their houses according to the principles of Vastu Shashtra.This ancient Indian tradition is also governed by astrological implications. Hindus believe that the overall prosperity and benefits of the occupants is dependent on the Vastu principles while building the house. Indian Astrologers claim that they can prove that astrological predictions are indeed scientific.Horoscope is a part of Astrology. Reading the horoscope daily has become a trend even in the developed countries of the West. The Western mind has always put everything subject to scrutiny and they tend to rely solely on scientific facts.But that is not preventing the western people from being obsessed with their horoscopes. Suddenly, the western world has woken up to the possibility of knowing and improving their future with the use of astrology. More and more westerners have started to believe in the possibility of getting affected by the powerful planets and stars.Western scholars have included the subject of astrology in their research. Astrology was never scrutinized and researched ever before the way it has been done over the last few years. In this regard, the Indian astrologers should come forward and show the world the power that astrology holds.